3D vision helps apple producers take control of crop load management
ADDIUM, a leading provider of innovative solutions for agriculture, today introduced POMETA, its new intelligent crop load management system.
At a time when margins are thin, apple producers need to take control of crop load management: optimize chemical thinning, get the most value out of every laborer and consistently hitting crop load targets. Getting crop load right means packing out more bins per acre, hitting size targets, packing more high-quality fruit, and realizing good return bloom.
"Fruit producers are squeezed on both sides," said POMETA Director, Dave Brown. "Consumers and grocery stores demand high quality fruit, but the labor needed to produce the best fruit only gets more expensive. It is getting hard to make money growing apples."
With POMETA technology, growers can quickly count clusters, fruitlets, and fruit per tree, and estimate singles, doubles, and triples. From 5 mm diameter, growers can determine individual size and growth rates for thousands of fruit in a matter of minutes. And using fruitlet counts and growth rates, POMETA helps growers dial in chemical fruitlet thinning by automatically forecasting fruitlet drop. And all this is possible without requiring routine calibration manual counts.
According to Patrick Plonski, POMETA Computer Vision Director, "We use iPhone video to construct a 3D model of an orchard canopy, locate and size the fruit, and estimate hidden (occluded) fruit. We see every tree from 100 or more perspectives, which allows us to detect more fruit than any photo-based technology. And the 3D technology allows us to track the persistence of individual fruitlets, and measure individual growth rates to the nearest mm."
POMETA offers the most sophisticated computer vision technology, made simple and easy for growers to use. The POMETA data acquisition app (POMViz) is as easy to use as taking a phone video. The POMETA web app has a simple navigation and clear data displays to provide growers with rapid insights.
And for harvest, POMETA offers forecasts of bins/acre and size: starting from fruit set and improving as the harvest date approaches. Post harvest, POMETA offers an easy bin scanning solution for size and color distribution, only requiring a user to wave a phone over one or more bins.
Also of note, is that POMETA includes a weather station with a trusted reputation. With twelve weather sensors, no complex wiring and simple setup, POMETA's weather station is favored by climate researchers worldwide. Designed and built in the USA by POMETA's sister company, METER Group, the station is made for continuous deployment in the world's harshest climates and is widely considered to be the most reliable machine of its kind.
Added Brown, "POMETA provides the only full-season, 3D crop load management system in the palm of a growers hand. Orchard canopies and fruit are 3D. The only way to robustly and reliably count fruit and estimate crop loads is with a 3D solution. This technology will be a difference maker for apple producers looking for a way to both cut cost and improve fruit quality."
ABOUT ADDIUM, INC.
Addium delivers real-time, high-resolution data that fuels production and processes for the food quality, environmental research, urban and agriculture sectors. Through the power of its employees, ADDIUM combines science, engineering, and design expertise to turn physical measurements into useful information.
Learn more at pometa.io